Outdoor allergens, like pollen, are a cause of seasonal allergies, or hayfever. Only airborne pollen (which can drop into the eye or be inhaled through the nose) causes hayfever. Many trees, grasses and plants produce airborne pollen, although grass pollen is by far the most common cause of hayfever in the UK. Pollen levels can vary day-to-day, depending upon several factors, including the weather.
Grasses and plants produce pollen throughout the summer with the peak months being May to July in the south and June to August in the north. Typical grass and plant allergens include dock, nettle, oil seed rape and grass.
The UK tree flowering pollen seasons are usually short and occur in the spring from March to May. The main culprits during hayfever season are yew, willow, alder and birch.
Pollen Allergy Symptoms
Some common symptoms of a pollen allergy may include sneezing, itchy watery eyes, runny nose, and nasal congestion. Allergy testing by a pharmacist or healthcare professional can verify whether you’re reacting to pollen or have an allergy to another substance, such as mould, dust mites, or pet dander..
Plan Your Day
Hayfever peaks when pollen levels are highest. This peak can occur early in the morning and mid-afternoon, so try to plan outdoor activities for other times of the day. Also sleep with bedroom windows closed during calm, still summer nights.
Clear The Air
When driving, keep windows up and set the air conditioner on "recirculate". At home, keep windows closed during peak pollen times.